Essex MPP Tours Bombardier – Calls for Canadian Content Rules on Transit

Thunder Bay – Essex MPP and Ontario NDP Labour Critic, Taras Natyshak toured the Thunder Bay Bombardier plant today to meet with workers and called for the Wynne government to bring in Canadian content requirements on provincially funded transit vehicle purchases.

“The NDP government in 1992 brought in a procurement policy that ensured cities across the province bought made-in-Ontario mass transit vehicles,” said Natyshak. “That policy survived the Mike Harris and Ernie Eves’ governments but was dismantled by the Liberal government in 2005.”

“In 2006 former NDP Leader, Howard Hampton brought in a motion that would have provided Canadian content requirement rules for transit vehicle purchases,” said Natyshak. “And in 2008 NDP MPP Gilles Bisson brought in a private members bill requiring 50 per cent Canadian content rules. But both times the Liberals voted these motions down.

This Thursday, a private members bill will be voted on that would require 60 per cent Canadian content requirement for transit vehicle purchases.

“It’s too bad that this bill comes from a Liberal backbencher and not from a government cabinet minister,” Natyshak said. “Unlike government sponsored bills, private member bills normally die a slow death in committee even if they get enough support at second reading.”

“It’s not surprising that the Wynne government didn’t bring forward a bill to require Canadian content for transit vehicles because the government’s Bill 153 , currently being debated at Queen’s Park, goes in the opposite direction and would eliminate Canadian content requirements from the energy sector,” said Natyshak.